good moments for both in the first two rounds
Laila: “Virani MacVicar vs. Kasandra Sobieski. 10 rounds of action begin now.”
The two fighters begin the usual way, coming to the middle of the ring, and exchanging jabs and soft punches, trying to get a read on their opponent. They’ve had sparring with opponents asked to duplicate their opponent, but that is not nearly the same thing.
Virani is quite patient in the opening stages, knowing that it really up to the challenger to force the fight. Kasandra takes a little while to get her feet in the fight, but is allowed to settle in. She then goes on the attack, using her larger frame to attack from a distance. Virani tries to set her feet and throw a counter, but Kasandra’s leaning right hook beats Virani to the punch, her white glove colliding with the champion’s head.
Laila: “Sobieski lands the first good punch of the event, a rising right hand. She’s got a height advantage, and she uses it well. MacVicar is going to have to chop that redhead tree down to size if she hopes to retain her title.”
Virani thinks: Yup, this isn’t going to be a pushover.
Kasandra remains on the front foot, keeping Virani occupied by using an active jab to control Virani’s position in the ring. Keeping Virani and her dangerous pink gloves away from her seems like a good idea to Kasandra, so the Polish fighter throws a couple of jabs to get Virani’s guard up, and then swings to her right, throwing a long right hand to the midsection of the champion.
Laila: “That is a long range rib roaster from Kasandra. Virani protected against a hook to the head, but Kasandra’s long limbs were able to reach a place where the champion was not expecting, all from a relatively safe spot against punches from the champion.
Kasandra continues her dominance of the round, keeping the champion shelled up with little chance to counterattack.
As the round progresses, Virani shows a better understanding of distance, managing to lean back and away from Kasandra’s jab. She keeps a guard up to ensure that white gloves don’t come flurrying in, but keeps herself safe from ‘Bombel.’
Late in the round, which has been dominated by Kasandra, landing with good volume, if not always the cleanest punches, Virani makes a late bid to steal the round with a looking overhand left.
The Polish fighter, having watched Virani try such things before, susses out the move, and responds with a right hand of her own, which catches Virani around the temple area.
Laila: “Anyone who expected the challenger to show nerves in her first title fight will be very disappointed. She was calm and confident as she dictated this fight in the first round and easily took the point on the judges scorecards, assuming they were watching the fight, that is.”
Having been given a stern talking to in the break between rounds, Virani MacVicar comes out for the second round much more intense. She competes with Kasandra by feinting in and out of range of the Polish fighter’s punches, causing Kasandra to hesitate, lest she be jabbing at air and allowing Virani a chance to get inside and throw the power shots she is very keen to avoid.
Virani knows she can’t be predictable, so instead of attacking the head in a low percentage punch, she goes low, getting pink leather to collide with Kasandra’s body.
Laila: “Creativity is one of the hallmarks of Virani MacVicar. Yes, she’s a power puncher, yes, her left hook is deadly, but she has a diverse array of ways to punish her opponent.”
Kasandra is placed on the back foot of a Cobra that is trying to open up her defences.
Virani wants to get some power punches onto her opponent to rattle her and put her authoritative stamp on the round. A composed defence from Kasandra keeps her safe from a clever left hook from the champion.
Virani might be a much more attacking presence in this round, but Kasandra Sobeski is tall and not very easy to hit. Kasandra uses a loose flowing defence that is hard for Virani to predict, keeping her head and body mostly safe from the power of her former training partner.
It’s flashy defence with very thin margins, but it works, with Kasandra able to roll out of the way of Virani’s right hook.
Sandra: “Keep on her!”
Laila: “Kasandra Sobieski hasn’t had the offensive output that she had in the first round, but the second has been a showcase of her defensive skills, which has kept her mostly safe from a very aggressive challenge from the champion.”
Virani thinks: I have to out-think this girl. Time for a trap.
As the round gets into the last 30 seconds, Virani gets lazy. She intentionally chooses not to force the action the same way she has been for most of the round. That sort of drop in action invites Kasandra to try to do something late in the round instead of just meekly accepting a loss.
As Kass opens her body to throw an overhand right, Virani launches into action, throwing a quick right hand that takes advantage of all the opened defences of the Polish fighter. Pink leather meets chin as a very solid connection is made, underscoring Virani’s dominance in the round.
Laila: “A little veteran guile from MacVicar as she baited Kasandra into attacking, before getting her biggest punch of the fight on target. That’s a mistake Sobieski can ill afford to make.”
The rest of the round proceeds without much more major action.
The fighters go back to their corners after a round of action for a minute-long break.
The Polish fighter looks a bit disheartened as she sits on the stool, having gotten a bit of a lesson from the champion that round.
Thomas: “Chin up. That wasn’t a good round, but it’s not the end of the world. Let’s show some more confident body language, please.”
Kasandra: “All right.”
Thomas: “Did you think this was going to be easy? You’d just jab her in the face for 10 rounds and take home the title? Of course she’s going to make it a fight – you have to rise to her level now. Be faster, be first, and take her out of her rhythm. All things we know how to do and all things we practiced. Let’s see it now.”
(Author’s Note: I know that this isn’t Thomas in this render below. I’m an idiot.)
In the champion’s corner, Virani looks intently to her coach for more advice on how to deal with a tricky challenger.
Sandra: “Welcome to the fight, Cobra. Wasn’t sure if you were going to make it.”
Virani: “My Uber was late.”
Sandra: “Funny. That was what I want to see more of – I want you to be baiting and feinting. We need to control this tall chick by putting limits on her movement – and the more we control her, the more often we can step into range and do damage. Quick, quick, like a bunny.”
Virani: “You mean like a Cobra.”
Sandra: “Hopefully your as sharp with your punches as you are with your wits.”
Watching Kasandra doing her thing brings out a twin reality of boxing. Some fighters, like her, find a way to move so gracefully that their work is art. When efficient, it combines elegance and brutality.
I suspect that Virani only experiences the first when getting tagged by the Pole’s white gloves.
The Cobra starts the second round better but the challenger adapts well to turn to defence. Until she gets baited into walking into a power shot.
The outcome of that one shows that her confidence remains a soft spot when the action isn’t outright dominance. Nothing’s lost, though. As shown against Kayleigh, Kass has greater ability to deal with a setback than in the past – think of the defeat to Leanne.
We could be in for a long match.
Kasandra is a graceful, polished fighter. At her best, she’s a deadly, graceful fighter who dishes out punishment from a distance that doesn’t let her get hit back.
Kass is also a very durable fighter – she’s fought through adversity before, and she’s known pretty well for that. It’s going to be tough for Virani to stop her – even when Virani reaches into her bag of tricks to get her to overcommit.
This could, and probably should, be a long match.
So far so good from both fighters, it’s a good start.
Kasandra got Virani in the first round by using her jabs and her reach to keep her at bay and open her up to land clean shots.
But Virani knows that this fight won’t be easy so she turns it up in the next round which gives Kasandra a harder time to defend and eats a couple shots of her own.
I’d say that they are even on the scoreboards.
If they wanna get more shots on each other I say that V needs to be more intense but to not over do it, and to be unpredictable.
Kasandra needs to use her jabs and defense as well. And I guess the same with being unpredictable.
Great fight so far. But I gotta ask in that pic of Kasandra sitting in her corner, isn’t that Jim with her and not Thomas or am I trippin?